100 fastest growing inner city businesses

14. NewBath
14. NewBath
Larry Closs, CEO
2009 Revenues: $5.7 million
5-year Annual Growth Rate: 69%

Larry Closs
Location: New Orleans, LA
Year Founded: 2003

About the business:
Larry Closs enjoyed working in advertising, but when he realized that the only way to make more money was to work longer hours, he began to seek out alternatives. A friend took him to a home improvement conference where he saw tub liners -- sheets of plastic or other material that protect bathtubs -- for the first time. He decided they would make a great investment.

In late 2002, he opened his first warehouse in the industrial section of Broadmoor in New Orleans, but in 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck. The warehouse was flooded with 7.5 feet of water and his entire stock was destroyed. With the help of a few tax breaks, Closs built his new warehouse just 50 yards from the old location. NewBath still sells and installs bathtub liners but also supplies custom showers, walk-in tubs, and jacuzzi tubs, among other items.

--By Eno Alfred and Mary Kay Leonard

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) defines inner cities as core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas. For the 2011 list, ICIC received more than 2,000 solicited nominations using its database of small businesses and through the support of its nominating partners, including the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Staples, and the Small Business Administration. Companies were ranked by compound annual growth rate (CAGR) based on their revenue over the five-year period between 2005 and 2009 (the last year for which complete data was available).
Last updated May 18 2011: 5:14 PM ET
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